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Books to Read & Documentaries to Watch While Pregnant


I haven’t gone crazy reading a bunch of books during pregnancy, because honestly, I don’t want to overwhelm myself with information. That being said, I’ve read a few books that taught me a great deal about pregnancy and caring for a newborn baby.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

If you’re going read just one book during pregnancy, this is the book to read, especially if it’s your first child. I learned so much about my body during the process of pregnancy and what will happen birth. I loved that the book starts with positive birth stories. The book then dives into the history of birth and how it’s changed over the past century (for better and worse). If you’re unsure of what you’d like your birth plan to look like, I’d highly recommend reading this first. It’s filled with real world examples from Ina May’s decades of experience being a midwife, as well as, and outside research. It’s the on book I recommend to everyone!

Happiest Baby On The Block 

As a first time parent and few close friends or family with newborn babies, I kind of have no idea or experience caring for a newborn. This book helped me tremendously! It’s a very simple, straight-forward information about how to care for your newborn. It also breaks down commons myths behind unhappy babies and then gives you practical, step-by-step tips for calming a fussy baby called the 5S’s. While I haven’t yet been able to put these methods into practice, the process is very logical and makes me feel more prepared to calm our crying newborn and help her fall asleep.

The Birth Partner

This one’s for dad, or you significant other who will be helping your through the birth process. I haven’t read this one, but our midwife recommended for my husband, Joel to read it. The book teaches dads, doula and other birth companions how to care for the new month from the first few weeks of pregnancy to postpartum. So, hand this one off to your partner, while you dive into all the pregnancy books!


I’m a total documentary junkie! Here are a few of the best documentaries I’ve watched during my pregnancy!

Business of Being Born

I watched this once before being pregnant or even knowing I wanted to get pregnant in the near future, because I’d heard it was a really good documentary. Ladies and gentlemen, this documentary fundamentally changed my view and opinions on birth, especially here in the United States. It’s what convinced me having a natural birth with a midwife was a top priority. Of course, we all want a healthy baby and will do whatever it takes to get that baby out safetly, but our current healthcare system isn’t designed to foster the natural birth process. It’s getting better and there are more and more options for a natural birth in hospitals then ever before, but we have still have a long way to go to normalize natural birthing without invervention. This is a must see for any first time mom, especially if you’re planning a hospital birth. Educating yourself on the process can help demistify the experience and make you feel more confidence in your choices.

The Milky Way

As a first time mom, I have no idea how to breastfeed. Not a clue. Especially, because I’m the first in my close group of girlfriends to have a baby. It’s something I’ve never casually chatted about with anyone. I thought before watching this the baby literally just lightly sucked on your nipple and, boom, the milk just flows. This documentary opened my eyes to how difficult it can be for many moms to breastfeed for a multitude of reasons – birth process, lack of support postpartum and the mental struggle with a woman’s supply. I think many woman, myself included, just assume breastfeeding will come natural, might hurt a bit at first, but will be fairly intuative. This just isn’t the case in our modern world often shuns the thought of breastfeeding as gross or something to do in private only, which leads to a lack of education for many woman and harmful stigma directed toward woman who try breastfeeding.

9 Month That Made You

This three part documentary series by PBS brings you through the science of each trimester. It seriously blew my mind. Before getting pregnant I knew very little about the process of creating and growing a child, beside the whole birds and bees talk with my parents of course. The first trimester was especially fasincating to me how a cluster of cells intuitively knows how to create a human in an almost musicial way. If you’re into the science of pregnancy and what to know what’s actually going on it there, I’d highly recommend this series!


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The Comments

  • Molly
    February 24, 2018

    Thank you so much for putting this together Kitty! Literally going to read/watch all your recommendations in planning for the future :)

  • Colleen Wisniewski
    May 22, 2018

    Thanks for putting this list together! It really is tough to find the right things to read and watch on pregnancy while pregnant. I recently read Great With Child by Beth Ann Fennelly and it was exactly what I needed. It was quick + beautiful stories about motherhood from a teacher to her former student. It was positive and uplifting and made me look forward even more to september when my baby is due. I highly recommend it if you haven’t read it! I’d even be happy to send you my copy if you’re interested :)